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Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Contemporary Embroidery in Progress

This fall, I signed up for a 6 week online course by Karen Ruane in the U.K. called 'Embroidery, Embellish, Create'.  That was about 7 or 8 weeks ago.  I think everyone in the class is done.  I am just able to start now that our show is over.  I have kept up with reading all the emails & PDFs as they came.  I also watched each of her many informative videos.  This class was SO worth it.  (Karen, you did a GREAT job!!).  Here begins my cloth construction.  Karen's work is all white on white, and I can't help but envision layers of ice and arctic snow for my piece.  Here are some detailed snapshots of my project so far.


It is to be all hand stitched.  I did zip this through the machine to hold the cheese cloth in place.  (I know!  I'll be in trouble for that one!)  I chose to do this because I really wanted these fibres, but every time I touched them, they pulled apart or snagged on my fingertips. 


Lots of feather stitches and herringbone.  I had so much fun making this section.  It's like old fishing nets.  The knots are like pebbles or seeds... maybe fish eggs?

much more to stitch on here...



Here is the piece near the top of the section.  It's very light and icy.  The turquoise can be sky or frozen seawater in the icebergs.  I just love this landscape!  Karen encourages us to use a variety of cloths in our piece.  I have been saving whites for a winter piece for a long, long time now.  The big threads you see are just the basting threads that will be removed later.


Karen's class actually helped my through the creation of my prairie dress.  In a couple of her videos, she said, "Nothing is insurmountable.  If you dream it up, you can create it."  Let me tell you, that was where I paused the video and wrote that down on paper!  You know what?  She was right.  So here I am now, creating my longstanding dream of stitching out an arctic landscape.  This is the first big art project where I am not working from photos.  I'm working from intuition only.  As I stitch, I can't believe how well this is playing out.  I see fish bones, ice, dark water, pebbles, broken fishing nets... and I'm reminded of the story of the Inuit deity Sedna.  I think this is becoming a shrine to her.  If you aren't familiar with her story, you can find one version here.  So far, this piece has all the elements: beauty, fragility, rawness, crude harsh cold, and flowing life right through it.

So there you go!  That's what I've been up to.
: )

Linking on Wednesday to The Needle & Thread Network.

9 comments:

karen said...

well thank you Monika...I came here to tell you that you won my give away and I need your address....people may now think it was a fix!!! It wasn't.....

LynCC said...

So creative!

My Sweet Prairie said...

Yessssss! Lol. Thank you Karen!

elle said...

ooh, I can 'feel' the cold, the ice, the winterness.. lovely

Becky said...

OMG! You've done it again! That's so beautiful!! I can't wait to see it progress! You'll be making custom wedding dresses here in no time LOL! Seriously though, that's amazing! I love your creativity!

stitchinglife.com said...

Really beautiful work. I came here from flickr; look forward to seeing more.

M-R said...

Wow, Monika, you're project sounds so cool! I'm looking forward to seeing where you go with it. It's looking fabulous so far!

Christie, Describe Happy said...

Great textures you are creating there. Really looks like a piece I want to fondle!

AccurateCuts.etsy.com said...

What an interesting piece (interesting good, not interesting bad)! I look forward to seeing more of it as you work on it.

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